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Aid for food security

Shayal Devi
Saturday, March 15, 2014

SINCE 2012, the Ramakrishna Mission and Australian Government have been partners in helping the community and will continue to do so.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Glenn Miles said through the Australian Government's aid program managed by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, they were working to build resilience and economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities by supporting educational and health services.

"We are all aware of the vital and important role civil society organisations play," he said.

"Following the floods that ravaged the Western Division in 2012, the Australian Government provided $19,000 to the Ramakrishna Mission for immediate relief to families in surrounding areas through the distribution of cooked meals and grocery hampers and medical clinics through mobile medical services.

"Distribution of seeds from the Vivekananda Technical College nursery and daily lunch parcels to over 5000 students and school exercise books and stationery to over 900 children in nine schools was possible through the funding."

Mr Miles said the Australian Government also provided the Ramakrishna Mission with $168,000 for a food and nutrition security program which enabled the distribution of seed packs to more than 4800 farmers from Sigatoka to Rakiraki and the purchase of a vehicle to allow staff to continue providing technical support to around 40 farmers.

"To encourage students to start home gardens, 350 students of Swami Vivekananda College also received seed packs.

"Through Fiji Community Development Program, the Australian Government is proud to support the Ramakrishna Mission and its Sarada Medical Centre.

Through a 12-month grant for $199,000, we have supported the employment of a doctor and nurse and the purchase of telemedicine equipment for the establishment of a new telemedicine facility."

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